U.S. Envoy Urges Kosovo To Drop Tariffs On Serbian Goods ‘With No Reciprocity’

The U.S. special envoy for Serbia and Kosovo, Richard Grenell, has urged Kosovo to drop tariffs on Serbian goods without introducing measures of “reciprocity” in trade, politics, and economy, his press officer told RFE/RL’s Balkan Service.

“The ambassador is pushing for them to drop the tariffs with no reciprocity. So, Kosovo should drop the tariffs on Serbian goods, and not implement reciprocity. So, no reciprocal measures. Not just suspend the tariffs but drop them entirely,” Dick Custin said in a February 10 statement.

The call by Grenell, who also serves as President Donald Trump’s U.S. ambassador to Germany, comes amid an international push for the two countries to establish diplomatic relations.

Kosovo’s new Prime Minister Albin Kurti said on February 7 that he intends to abolish punitive tariffs on Serbian goods. But Kurti cautioned that he would only lift the 100-percent tariffs imposed more than a year ago after his government introduces measures of “reciprocity” in trade, politics, and economy.

Kosovo, a former Serbian province, unilaterally declared independence in 2008. The move has been recognized by more than 110 countries but not by Serbia.

Both the European Union and United States have made reconciliation between the two countries a priority, saying it was key to economic development. But dialogue is stalled in part over Pristina’s imposition of the 100-percent tariffs in 2018.

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